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Charles Simeon on his Second Rule

July 18, 2017

The past two days I have posted on Charles Simeon’s “Four Rules”.  Here is what he had to say about what I call his Second Rule, Temporal prosperity is very unfavorable for spiritual development.  Again, this comes from his Horae Homileticae, on 1 Kings 11:9 – which is on the fall of Solomon.

Doubtless the facility with which Solomon could gratify all his natural appetites, rendered him the more easy prey to his own corruptions: and as his carnal gratifications increased, his spiritual affections would decay. And do we not find it thus in all ages? Adversity has been a source of benefit to thousands; but few have ever been permanently quickened by prosperity. If we look into the Church of God, we shall find innumerable instances of persons, who have suffered loss in their souls, in proportion as their wealth or honours have been increased: “The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things have choked the word, and rendered it unfruitful.” The account given of Jeshurun contains the history of many; over whose tombs it might be inscribed, “The prosperity of fools destroys them”.

Let us not then covet earthly gains or honours: they are but as “thick clay” around the feet of one that runneth in a race, or as a garment that obstructs the motion of his legs.

Certainly the Church in the West seems to have fallen into this trap; will the Lord send adversity to purify His Church?

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